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Just what the doctor ordered - The Galveston County Daily News : Galveston

October 30, 2014

Just what the doctor ordered

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Posted: Thursday, November 21, 2013 12:00 am | Updated: 1:32 pm, Fri Jun 13, 2014.

November is American Diabetes Month, and Island Health Center is raising awareness and understanding of diabetes and its consequences, management and prevention. Island Health Center treats many conditions and among the top of their list are diabetes and hypertension (high blood pressure).

Dr. Walter Oakes, a seasoned medical doctor with over 30 years of experience, is the Medical Director of Island Health Center. Dr. Oakes takes a very personal approach to diabetes and believes that “the more educated the patient is about their illness, the better the patient does overall.”

People get wrapped up in their personal lives and forget to take care of the underlying issues that desperately need attention. For diabetes, your body may be trying to tell you something if you notice changes in your urination patterns, increased levels of thirst and/or hunger. And yet, depending on the type of diabetes, people often do not have any symptoms until the disease has suddenly advanced.

Dr. Oakes recommends that you regularly check your blood sugar. Routine blood tests used to measure current and average blood sugar levels over a three month period can be done in one simple test. People who are at an increased risk include those who are overweight, older than 45, have a family history of diabetes and those who lack regular physical activity. And if you’re already diabetic, you should be checking your blood sugar levels throughout the day or as directed by your physician.

He also made note of the importance of screening for diabetes due to the long term complications associated with the illness. Diabetes slows the body’s healing processes and makes wounds and other injuries much more complicated and slower to heal. In fact, he warns that if left untreated, diabetes can potentially require care from multiple specialists such as an Endocrinologist, Nutritionist, Optometrist, Podiatrist, Dentist, Exercise Trainer and, in the worst case scenario, possibly even Surgeons for amputation.

Prevention is the cheapest and most valuable way to keep yourself healthy, and the first step is to begin with finding out your risk and blood sugar levels. Island Health Center offers special testing and welcomes you to inquire about getting those levels checked for as little as $25 dollars.

No matter what your health care needs are, Island Health Center is ready to meet them. Call us today at 409-762-7646, email islandhealthcenter@sbcglobal.net, or visit us on the Web at IslandHealthCenter.net. Our clinic is located just off the Seawall at 4623 Fort Crockett Blvd., between Goodwill and Academy.

Facts about Diabetes

• 1 in every 10 dollars is spent on health care is spent on treating diabetes or its complications.

• 60-70% of people with diabetes have mild to severe forms of nerve damage that can lead to pain, slow digestion, sexual dysfunction and other verve problems.

• Diabetes is the leading cause of adult blindness.

• 2 out 3 people with diabetes will die from heart disease or stroke.

• By 2050, it is estimated that 1 in 3 American will have Diabetes.